Separating but no divorce?

Have you thought about a separation agreement?

It isn’t unusual for people to separate for many months or even years before beginning divorce/dissolution proceedings.

Some just need time to save up for the court fee which is currently £550.

Others prefer to adjust to living alone, sometimes hoping that a reconciliation is still possible.

The undoing of the legal contract of marriage/civil partnership doesn’t hold the same sense of urgency for everyone. So does it make a difference? Are there any financial or other implications and if so what do you need to consider? Continue reading “Separating but no divorce?”

Latest news DIY consent orders

It feels like a long time since I last posted and I wanted to update new/potential clients on the diy consent order service.

So far so good, since legal aid was removed last year I have seen a huge increase in people using the diy consent order service and it seems to be achieving its purpose.

What is the diy consent order service?

Well as the name suggests it’s a service which helps people get a consent order without representation. It tends to appeal to people who are doing their own divorce and have reached an amicable agreement on how to divide their finances.

How does it work?

If you send me an email asking for details I will reply with some forms for you to fill in and return to me. I can then check whether you need a simple clean break or a more detailed standard order.

The more detailed order is necessary if you are transferring or selling a property or need a pension sharing order for example.

A simple clean break is only appropriate where people have no joint assets and have agreed that there will be no maintenance or sharing of any assets owned by just one of them, including pensions.

I will also send you a form to fill in to confirm that you have considered various factors and that you do or don’t want any advice on your agreement with your spouse or civil partner before continuing.

At any time you can elect to have a telephone or face to face consultation to take advice on the agreement or procedure. Consultations are chargeable although my rates for a telephone consultation are reasonable to reflect the low overhead for this service.

A consent order is not generally variable once it has been approved by the court and it cannot be appealed. It is very important that you consider the implications before entering into this type of agreement as I will repeatedly remind you during the process.

However, for those people who are absolutely agreed on the division of their assets and whose situations are relatively straightforward, this is a service designed to suit your needs.

Once you have explained to me exactly what is agreed I will draw up the agreement to reflect that.

You are able to take advice (and I encourage you to take advice) before submitting it to the court for approval.

I provide full instructions and the necessary letters to help you submit the order to the court.

You will need to complete the statement of information for a consent order (form D81) but again I can help you with that but further charges will be applied.

Please note:

  1. I do not liaise with the court for you with this diy service (although I do provide letters for you to sign) and you and your spouse or civil partner will need to cooperate with each other to sign the paperwork and fill in the D81.
  2. Nor can I take responsibility for the agreement you and your spouse or civil partner reach as I have not been involved in the negotiation and have not advised you on it. However many people do not want advice. They are happy with the agreement they have even if it does not leave them with the same assets a court would order after a hearing or reflect the terms that would be negotiated by two competent solicitors.

The diy service is also useful if you have been to mediation. It is also a low cost service. It is currently £240 plus the court fee of £50 for the standard order. (Fees correct as at August 2014)

If you want to know more please email me for an information pack.

Nicola Williams